New Markem-Imaje EB588 ink for FMCG helps sustainability

Raising the standard of CIJ coding

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Markem-Imaje EB588 ink
The new Markem-Imaje EB588 ink codes a wide range of packaging types and colors more sustainably without impacting profitability Image Market-Imaje

Black, multi-purpose ink enables safer, more sustainable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) coding, with fewer errors – all for the same total cost of ownership (TCO) versus traditionally-used, MEK-based options. Markem-Imaje has launched such an ink on 4 March 2021 – its EB588 ink, paired with the company’s flagship 9450 coder.

FMCG manufacturers face high expectations. Consumers want products that are as sustainably made as possible at a good price. Simultaneously, retailers and distributors are quick to issue fines for poorly coded items that jeopardize traceability, data collection, and or automation. The ink launched today delivers on all these objectives by enabling better performance and sustainability, with no overall cost increase. Together with the company’s flagship 9450 coder, the EB588 ink sets the new standard for FMCG inkjet coding.

MEK-based inks generate Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions, contributors to greenhouse gases. This new MEK-free alternative, made of Methyl Isopropyl Ketone (MIPK), supports product sustainability by generating 40% fewer VOCs under comparable operating conditions at 200C. It also promotes a safer work environment for workers.

Designed for use in Markem-Imaje’s 9450 continuous inkjet (CIJ) coder, one of the market’s leading inkjet printers, the ink also streamlines inventory and reduces waste. The multi-purpose, black ink codes many different packaging types, including metal, glass, cardboard, and several plastic types. Ordering, logistics, and stock management are thus easier as there are fewer items to store and oversee.

Furthermore, as MEK-free inks use fewer consumables than MEK-based inks, manufacturers will have 40% fewer bottles and cartridges to throw away. Waste is further minimized, as is rework, through the ink’s smart consumable management system, enabling quick, mistake-free coding.

There is no longer any risk of inserting an unsuitable ink that generates a poor-quality code, or worse, seems to code an item, only for the code to disappear hours later or be easily rubbed off in the marketplace. All operators need to do is insert the EB588 ink cartridge, something which can be done with the line running to avoid downtime. The coder takes it from there to check and set up parameters automatically. No further human intervention is required.

For even greater efficiency and productivity, all consumable-related operations can be directly monitored on the user interface. Touch screen menus provide access to previous maintenance and production history, including data on availability rates and consumption. An accurate, consumable level display, bolstered by real-time warnings, lets users know the precise quantity of prints remaining, so production time is not lost due to the ink or additive running out.

The new ink is in addition to the marketing and quality-enhancing capabilities already available through the 9450 coder itself. For example, Markem-Imaje is currently the only major supplier to offer built-in promotional coding, serialization, and ‘mark & read’ code checking in a CIJ printer. And, with a large graphical printing capacity, QR code printing is easy and efficient. Production sites can thus better meet brand teams’ demands to use complex codes to support a wide range of marketing objectives, all with full confidence in code quality and accuracy.

Even better, the above benefits are available for the same TCO as other comparable MEK-based ink and printer combinations. This enables manufacturers to improve their sustainability credentials without negatively affecting their profitability – a win-win situation for consumers, retailers, distributors, manufacturers and the environment.

Smart Packaging Solutions Virtual Congress -19 March 2021

The Smart Packaging Solutions for India and South Asia Virtual Congress on 19 March focuses on food and pharma supply chains, brand security, and sustainability. Organized jointly by IPPStar and the AIPIA, the virtual congress’s topics include brand authentication, condition monitoring, and active and intelligent packaging that contributes to the safe delivery of authenticated products leading to safety, security, and customer engagement. Please look at the agenda of the conference here, and for registration, please click here. You can also email Ruchi at conference@ippgroup.in or Umesh at subscription@ippgroup.in. Call us in Noida at 120-4546988 or 4326053 – Umesh at Xtension 30; Ruchi at Xtension 33; Gaurav at Xtension 23; and Mohit at Xtension 25.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.

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